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‘Hybrid’ Meeting Hears Shelterbox Update

In a first for our club, this week’s meeting was an experiment in combining a Zoom Meeting with a socially distanced physical one at our normal meeting venue of Swanage Conservative Club.

Just under half of the members met in person, with the venue ensuring that safety was paramount, people seated in accordance with Government guidelines and both food and drink served to us to avoid unnecessary movement around the venue. Then, after the meal, we started the Zoom meeting with other members joining us virtually via a laptop and projection onto the large screen in the club.

Our speaker, also joining us via Zoom, was Keith Lockett, who is our local Shelterbox co-ordinator. He gave us a superb presentation, screen shared via Zoom so that everyone could see it, on the work of Shelterbox since it’s inception, how many people it has provided assistance for, how our own club has made significant contributions over the years and how the organisation has had to adapt in the current COVID-19 circumstances.

After the presentation, Keith answered a number of questions from members on the various topics that had been presented. On behalf of the club Rotarian Dai Hounsell proposed a vote of thanks for an excellent update on the work of the charity.

Initial reaction to this experimental form of meeting was very positive and assuming that follow-up feedback is equally positive we are likely to conduct further meetings via this method, assuming the virus situation does not adversely affect plans.

As ever, anyone wishing to join us for future meetings is most welcome. Just contact the secretary for joining details.

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Meeting in the New Normal

Swanage Rotary held its first ‘virtual’ speaker meeting this week, since the start of the lockdown, and we were delighted to welcome District Governor Nominee Paul Steele from Guernsey Rotary to join our Zoom meeting and tell us all about his plans for the next couple of years.

One of the advantages of meeting online is that we can invite speakers from virtually anywhere, which would not be possible with a face-to-face meeting, so although Paul, like the rest of us, is not able to travel currently he was able to speak to the club directly as if we were all in the same room. In addition, members of Wareham Rotary were also able to join the meeting.

Paul is a very experienced Rotarian having joined in the early 1980s, and it certainly sounds like he will be bringing that wealth of experience to his time as the leader of District 1110. He put forward many interesting ideas about how he would like the District to move forward so that we can remain relevant to our local communities and encourage ever more people to join the Rotary movement. This will require significant change, however, if we are to attract younger members and it might be the the current crisis gives us all the opportunity to do just that.

A number of attendees asked questions and raised points in response to Paul’s address. On behalf of both clubs, President Steve thanked Paul for taking some time out to join our meeting.

Anyone who is interested in finding our more about Rotary in Swanage and Purbeck is welcome to join one of the Zoom meetings that we have planned in the coming weeks. Please contact for more details.